Montgomery Serves Awards 2021

Congratulations to the 2021 Montgomery Serves Awards honorees. These individuals, businesses, and groups have demonstrated remarkable commitment to service and volunteerism in our community, earning them Montgomery County's highest recognition for their contributions.

Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award 

Honoring lifetime service by individuals age 60 and up

Delores Cole photoDelores Cole 

Delores Cole of Rockville is a lifelong Maryland resident and has lived in Montgomery County since 1970, where she and her husband raised three children. 

For over 50 years, Delores has been an active member of Clinton AME Zion Church in the historic African American neighborhood of Lincoln Park in Rockville. She has served as a class leader, visiting sick and shut-in church members to ensure they are receiving needed care. She’s sung in the church choir, attended Bible study, and led Senior Ministry discussions that supported the church's greater independence in fiscal awareness, exposure to Black diaspora events, and increased fellowship with seniors.  

As a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Delores has participated in the sorority's voter registration drives, as well as fundraising events to provide higher education scholarships to local students.  She has supported Stepping Stones Shelter and the men's shelter in Rockville for over 25 years, contributing food and other needed items.  

Delores has served on the Montgomery County Board of Elections and is a regular presence at Rockville and Montgomery County political, voter, and community events. In 1991 she was recognized as an Outstanding Black Woman by the Montgomery County Office of Minority and Multicultural Affairs.  

Delores is a founding member of the George B. Thomas Saturday School tutoring program in Sandy Spring and Olney. She was a community representative volunteer for the George B. Thomas Learning Academy from 1986 to 1994, when Montgomery County Public Schools adopted the program and opened a second location at Sherwood High School. In this capacity, Delores was fundamental in recruiting volunteers, coordinating family and student communication, and providing outreach to local schools. This program, in which she volunteered for over 18 years, now has 12 sites serving 3,000 students annually!  

Always dedicated to helping children succeed, Delores volunteered as a tutor at Brooke Grove, Barnsley, Fairland, and Brookhaven Elementary schools—where students fondly adopted her as their "grandma."  She reads with first-generation immigrants, and with special needs or disadvantaged students who struggle with reading, writing, basic math, and social skills.   

In 2003, Delores retired from the Housing Opportunities Commission, where she worked for nearly 30 years. She was an effective, caring, and beloved social worker and case manager for low-income tenants of subsidized housing, helping them to improve their career options through education and training.    

A proud graduate of Morgan State University, Delores continues to support her alma mater as a member of the Washington D.C. Alumnae Chapter.   

Delores Cole has spent her lifetime serving her community, church, and family.  At age 84, Delores is a role model for young and old, having a positive effect on communities in Montgomery County.  Wherever Delores goes, she stands out:  She spreads love and kindness with a smile that warms the room!    
—Nominated by Nancy Scull 


See all of this year's honorees